29 Dec The Obstacles Women Face in Business
There’s no doubt whatsoever that women who want to start a business or work their way up in an organization face a disproportionate number of challenges compared to their male counterparts. That’s a shame, because women who start businesses tend to do it because it’s something they’re passionate about and have a lot of experience in; men have more of a tendency to climb the ladder just for the sake of climbing it. There’s no doubt we want passionate and experienced people leading our companies, so what are the obstacles women face?
A number of challenges present themselves, and it’s incredibly difficult to ascertain why they’ve developed; if we could pinpoint the source, it might be easier to deal with the problem. Certainly, the generations of thought that went something like: “Women stay in the kitchen, men are the breadwinners” can’t be helping. There’s also the idea of what we look for in leadership; women are often seen as emotional and empathic, while we often want our leadership to be strong and tough, maybe even a bit cold, traits that are usually associated with masculinity. A paradigm shift in the way we perceive leadership might help.
Whatever the cause, women tend to get less funding for start-ups then men, and may have less of a network; there’s a distinct possibility the “Old Boys Club” is still dictating the resources that each gender has available to them. Obviously, being able to secure funding and resources is of incredible importance to any business initiative, so the lack of funding can mean a lack of success. This lack of funding might not be perceived by society, and the failure of the initiative might be chalked up to “because she was a woman”, which brings up another problem.
Social expectation is one of the biggest barriers women in business face; when we conjure up images of leadership and success, they are often men, with masculine traits. We’ve discussed the glass cliff and the glass ceiling at length before in this blog; suffice to say, society doesn’t expect women to be leaders, and to defy those expectations takes extra effort. When everything you do is harder simply because you’re a woman and people don’t expect you to succeed, it means you have to work that much harder; that said, we need more women in leadership roles. When half of the population of the planet is not getting their fair share at the top, how can we say we have a balanced perspective on what’s most important to us?
At Talent Bureau, we work with some of the most inspiring women you’ll ever meet; one of the greatest ways of shattering the facade that leader=man is by having women in business speaker share their success story with your organization. It’s easier to rework preconceived notions when you’re presented with tangible, relatable evidence that your prejudices were misplaced. Break the glass ceiling and inspire men and women to choose a more just path with Talent Bureau.